Less than two bucks
of mineral ash, absent a tail
to wag, whip, curl.

Clay trail through
hard woods. Plum colored
mushrooms tempt the unwary.

Red peony on a table
cluttered with books,
bills to pay, loose change.

Valerie L. Egar
Published in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review

Grandma Describes Love Using Birds

Love is a goose, says Grandma,
tossing Danny’s bread crusts
to geese at the lake’s edge.
We hover behind her,
afraid of beating wings.
They mate for life, unlike some people.
Danny and I knew the people she meant.

We woke to their yelling
about rent, the refrigerator’s lack—
one egg, sour milk, half-jar
of pickles. The front door slammed.
Mother drove us to school the next morning
and the mornings after that.

Grandma says, Love’ll make you crazy.
Drying dishes, Danny and I watched
the red bird fight its window reflection,
seeing Mother’s fury in its flaming feathers,
as she shadow-boxed, cursing Dad’s name.

Valerie L. Egar
Published in Lullwater Review

Stacking Wood on Midsummer’s Eve

We stack the remains
of the felled maple by the porch,

the split wood and mown grass
green-scenting the evening.

The field blooms with sweet clover
and a thin peel of moon lights the sky.

Why linger on winter fires?
Look— fireflies are turning into stars.

Valerie L. Egar
Published in Yankee